Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tech Center Technology Wiki
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I will post the link soon, so be on the lookout!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- One video, created using the Flip camera, explaining and demonstrating a developmentally appropriate practice in either block building or sensory play. The audience was the parents of our preschool children. The topic was how they could use block or sensory activities at home with their child to promote cognitive, social-emotional, and physical growth. This video was no longer than one minute in length.
- Three pictures from the picture bank provided of preschoolers and student teachers in sensory and block buildling play activities. The pictures were to have a caption that described what was happening in the picture, how the activity was developmentally appropriate, and how the activity fostered cognitive, physical and social-emotional development and growth.
- Recordings of the caption for each picture using http://www.vocaroo.com/.
- A list of specific ideas for block building or sensory play at home.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I am going to try to be more specific with my teachers and with my posts when it comes to using this in a technical school classroom. I send an email each week with a tool or strategy, and I thought that maybe giving specific examples would help them visualize using it in their classroom. So here it goes!
Here’s what was great about this assignment:
- The students had to think critically to determine at what date the child would be experiencing a specific developmental milestone.
- The students had to categorize the types of milestones.
- The students are able to visually understand how a child grows and develops—through the timeline and through adding images.
- It only took about 1 hour!
Here’s how I think other programs here at the Tech Center can easily use this powerful program:
- Nursing students can track a disease’s progression or the steps in patient care procedures.
- Culinary students can map out the steps in a difficult recipe or create a timeline for a catering event to stay organized.
- Construction, Welding, and HVAC students can create a sequence for any steps in building/fixing anything.
- Public Safety students can create the timeline of a crime scene or an accident to understand the progression of events, or they can create a sequence for procedure of a traffic stop.
- Landscaping/Turf students can create a timeline of plants that grow best during each month or can create a sequence for growing/caring for plants or creating landscape designs.
- Auto Body students can create a timeline or a sequence for the steps in repairing damage.
- Auto Service and Outdoor Power Equipment students can create a sequence for any repair work done in the shop.
- Legal/Medical students can create timelines and sequences for any office procedures.
- Electronics students can create sequences for building circuits or any other item.
- Cosmetology students can create a timeline for managing clients effectively to get their procedure done in the allotted amount of time or can create a sequence for any procedure.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I remember when I first came to the Tech Center three years ago. Most people didn't understand what technology could really be used at a technical school. When I would have computers reimaged, the technicians would almost automatically tell me that I didn't need any special instructional software pushed because that's what they were used to. Sadly, I started to agree with everyone; I couldn't see past those thoughts to envision what could really be done.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
- Create a school technology wiki to be used to collaborate across the building so teachers can see how technology is being used and how it can be used in their classrooms. FYI: the PBWorks Summer Camp is highly beneficial. Definitely recommended!
- Meet with each program each quarter to plan for ways to use technology in their learning plans.
- Expand online portfolio project to include more programs and possibly two different platforms to allow for student choice.
- Promote Notebook 10 software, Smartboards, and Airliners.
- Train teachers on Google SketchUp as an option for creating visual plans for projects.
- Implement the Preschool Wiki project with ECE.
- Hold optional training sessions that correlate with the Technology Tool of the Week.
Monday, June 8, 2009
My first thoughts on looking at the camp syllabus and the assignment of creating my on wiki is that I would like to create a space that is easily accessible and easily editable for the staff in my building that will house ways we are learning to integrate technology. I hope it will help to create a dialogue and a community that seems to be lacking at times. My thoughts on this emerging technology use in Vo-Tech 2.0 is that I need to create a community of learners within the building that see each other as co-teachers even if we have so many seemingly disjointed subject areas. I hope this helps bridge the gap. And as a bonus, I hope that it will entice some to give it a try in their classroom, too. But as I am learning, I think change in this building will be slow, and that's okay because we will start where it is safe and move out from there.
Friday, March 27, 2009
We finally decided on Jing, which is created by TechSmith, and is a free download for both Windows and Mac. Jing is a very simple to use tool that can create screenshots or screencasts and can then be saved as a Flash movie and emailed or uploaded.
Here was our basic plan:
- Students worked in groups of two and were assigned an objective from the MOS Word Certification test.
- Students researched and learned how to complete the objective.
- Students wrote a step-by-step script that they used to record their screencast.
- Students used Jing to record their screencasts using the scripts.
- Students chose best version of screencast and uploaded to a page on a class wiki that contains the video and the script.
I am happy with the results of this project, especially because over the past two years, I really was not sure I would figure out a way to help in this classroom. After this experience, I see many, many possibilities. We already have another project that will begin in the next month that includes Mixbook. Vo-Tech 2.0 is on its way!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Recently, a tragedy struck a family in our Virginia Beach community. A story hit the news about a five year old boy who was murdered by his father. The mother was also wounded. At first this was just another sad story on the news, something that I try to avoid; however, my fiance realized that he knew this family. He is actually very close friends with the little boy's uncle and aunt and their family. The event then took on a new meaning for me; I couldn't stay detached because I wasn't anymore. I attended the little boy's funeral, and since then, my life has not been the same. At the service, his short life crossed a screen image by image, and I struggled with questions of faith and fate and God and other things that many people probably explore when this kind of thing happens. I empathized with the family and the poor mother. I cried and ached to hold my own small children close. Forever.
Since then, I have been preoccupied by this tragedy, and in a way, I am grateful because I have had a renewed sense of life. I have stopped rushing and fretting quite so much. I have taken each day I have had with my own two boys during the past week and lived it fully. I have laughed more willingly at their orneriness and spoken more tenderly when frustrated. So in that way, little Joshua does live on, as they expressed hopefully during the funeral. He will continue teaching me to cherish the moments I have with my children, which is something we often forget in the harried and hurried evenings and days.
And it has led me to question why we, as educators, do what we do. Why there are so many of us out there who are passionate about making the classroom something more meaningful and purposeful for our students. We have realized that we only have a limited amount of time with them; every second is valuable and something to cherish, and they deserve all we can give. As Joshua helps me to remember that with my own children, I hope I can also be helped to remember that when working with my teachers and our students.
So maybe this post does have something to do with tools we can use in our schools and classrooms: connecting, being present with our students, valuing each teachable moment with them, and knowing that we impact their lives, whether short or long.
I ask that you take a moment to visit the site Remembering Joshua. I hope that you continue to be inspired to live life fully and to always find joy and meaning, both in and out of your classroom. If you feel compelled to donate to the family, there is a link. The mother has substantial recovering to do, and she is probably going to be without health insurance by the end of this month. If prayer and positive support is what you can offer, please do that as well.
Please forward this post to as many as you can so that we can make a difference to this family who is enduring such a great loss.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
- The teacher can record and email/post directions or explanations for projects and assignments.
- The teacher can use this as a tool to communicate with students when there is a substitute.
- The students can create clips/mini podcasts that are posted to a class wiki/blog.
Monday, February 16, 2009
- Create a how-to book using pictures the students take to demonstrate knowledge of a process or skill.
- Research a relevant topic/item/theory.
- Create a tips list that could be used to help students who are struggling with a topic or skill.
- The possibilities are endless!
And as a former English teacher, I can also see the very creative uses of this site. Creating character's family photo albums, scrapbooks from events in the story, plot analysis... Couldn't help myself there!
Friday, February 13, 2009
My challenge when I arrived at this school as the Instructional Technology go-to person was three-fold:
- Many people didn't believe I was needed here because it is a technical school. They didn't understand how technology would be useful here.
- Many of the teachers in the building, the majority, were very, very leery of technology. They had learned what they needed to pass the technology standards test and take attendance, but that was where it ended.
- Finally, I wasn't sure what I would be able to do here because I didn't know much about their content. In my previous middle school, I knew enough about the core subjects, that I could converse with the teachers in a planning session and get the wheels moving.
What I have learned is that technology is just as important in Vo-Tech 2.0 world as it is in a traditional high school. The kids here learn theory that is just as rigorous as any Algebra or English class, and they need these tools. I have also learned that the teachers also need these tools in their classrooms, and I can provide those tools even though I may not be an expert in their content. They have the same struggles as any teacher with kids who desire and crave engagement.
So my method has been to ease them in. We spent time learning technical skills involved with programs like Excel and Outlook. I am spending time this year introducing easy options for integrating technology. We have looked at Flip Video Cameras, and most recently, I introduced two online flash card sites. They have generated some interest, and I have already had one teacher try it! I just have to constantly remind myself of baby steps. It will all come together with baby steps!
Tech Tips for today:
In Quizlet, the teacher creates the content and the students then have several ways to review the information through practicing, games, and quizzes. The sets that the teacher creates can be shared with the students through a link. As an extension, the teacher can create a group for the class, and the students create accounts and join the group. Throughout the year, sets that are added to the group are accessible to the students whenever they login. The students also have the ability to add sets to the group as well.
This is a perfect tool for any teacher, but especially for teachers in my school because the students often have to learn vocabulary quickly and correctly in order to perform the task or skill it relates to.
Just a note-- if you know of an ITRT or similar person at the Vo-Tech style school in your area, send them my way. I am on Twitter: @hlvanrip
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
- This would be a great way to introduce a new skill or tool to the students by engaging them with the history and details of the item itself.
- This would be a great starting point for students to use in a research project on an item or unit in the curriculum.
We have also double checked with the student logins to ensure that we will not run up against any filtering issues when the students start to make and maintain their sites. So far, no problems!
We had a great planning session two weeks ago where we came up with specifics for portfolio contents and a timeline and general idea of a due date. I plan to focus on this project with these two classes, and then next year, I can roll it out to more.